New Agreement to Kickstart Salem Offshore Wind Terminal

(Image: Crowley)
(Image: Crowley)

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), Crowley Wind Services and the City of Salem announced the transfer of ownership and an agreement for site improvements and ongoing operations for the Salem Offshore Wind Terminal.

The agreement will kickstart the transformation of the site into the second port built specifically to support the construction of offshore wind farms in Massachusetts. The Salem Offshore Wind Terminal will also support the construction and installation of floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.

Among these transactions is the purchase by MassCEC of more than 42 acres on Salem Harbor and the transfer of a 5-acre parcel to the City of Salem, including the port’s existing deep-water berth. Massachusetts’s first dedicated offshore wind port is the New Bedford Wind Commerce Center, which is owned and operated by MassCEC, and is currently leased to Vineyard Wind, who in January announced the delivery of the first offshore wind power in the state.

“MassCEC’s offshore wind infrastructure has given Massachusetts our competitive edge in this growing industry,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Adding the Salem Port to its portfolio, along with the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal and the Wind Technology Testing Center, will further elevate Massachusetts as a global leader in the offshore wind industry. This partnership with the City of Salem and Crowley will deliver another port built specifically for offshore wind at this critical time in the clean energy transition, for Massachusetts, for the United States, and for the world.”

“This is an exciting day for Salem as we realize the vision we had for the port under new leadership,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Harnessing the power of the harbor has always been key to Salem’s success. This port once received clipper ships that brought international trade to our shores, and now will serve as a hub for offshore wind, driving economic development for the entire state.”

“The Salem Port is one of the great success stories of Massachusetts’ clean energy transition. What was once the site of a coal burning power plant will now serve as a launchpad of our offshore wind industry,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. “As the industry expands into the Gulf of Maine, this port will be instrumental in delivering additional clean, affordable energy to our residents and businesses.”

“We are very proud to align with the state’s strategic climate goals by launching our second wind energy port project in Massachusetts, with ambitious plans to bring this port to operational status as soon as possible,” said MassCEC Chief Executive Officer Emily Reichert. “We are excited to be at the forefront of establishing a burgeoning offshore wind industry in real-time. It’s a collaborative effort that requires action from both the public and private sector; local, state and federal governments, in partnership with Crowley, an experienced logistics and marine services operator who will oversee the port’s day-to-day management.”

“Salem is ready to do our part to help advance Massachusetts’ offshore wind efforts and we’re so excited to do it in collaboration with our partners at MassCEC and Crowley,” said Salem Mayor Dominick Pangallo. “On the site where, until quite recently, there was a giant coal pile, oil tanks, one of the dirtiest power plants in America, and vast barges unloading coal by the ton, a new, green energy future will be assembled. That work will be powered by labor from communities disproportionately impacted by our fossil fuel legacy and organized and trained for the clean energy economy that’s ahead of us. Here in Salem, when we’ve looked to the future, we’ve always looked to the sea and to what’s possible on its distant horizon. I’m so proud that Salem can be part of this important and historic effort.”

The Salem Offshore Wind Terminal location was once the site of an oil- and coal-fueled power plant that ceased operation as recently as 2014.

Crowley, which purchased the property in 2022, will manage the site redevelopment and improvements and then serve as the terminal operator, entering into a lease agreement with MassCEC for the ongoing utilization of the property as an offshore wind marshalling port with priority for offshore wind projects serving Massachusetts. The City of Salem, to further support this effort, has leased the berth and its acreage for the same purpose. Crowley’s Wind Services business unit will start construction in 2024, strengthening the site infrastructure to accommodate heavy machinery and equipment, the construction of a second state-of-the-art ship berth and the upgrade of the City berth to the same standard, and the implementation of dredging activities to enhance the harbor channel. The port is projected to open in 2026.

Crowley Wind Services, as a full-scope provider of offshore wind services, has actively worked since 2022 to transform the site into an asset to support offshore wind development. Besides operating vessels and terminals, the company provides supply chain management, construction engineering and project management services, and operations and maintenance solutions, with Salem project management based in Massachusetts.

“We are excited to continue advancing the opportunity for clean, renewable offshore wind energy for Massachusetts and beyond through this dynamic public-private partnership,” said Bob Karl, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley Wind Services. “We appreciate the leadership and support from the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Legislature in making our next steps a reality, as well as the ongoing collaborations with the City of Salem and its residents to create economic investment and jobs at a world-class marshalling port for offshore wind.”

In the U.S., the shortage of adequate port facilities for offshore wind has been identified as one the key areas of risk for meeting state and national goals, and market analysis indicates that more than one marshalling port will be necessary to meet Massachusetts’ timeline and goals for offshore wind.

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